TED英语演讲:为什么说乌鸦的智商高到可怕?(中英文对照)

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演讲者:Joshua Klein

 

演说标题:为什么说乌鸦的智商高到可怕?

作为一名骇客和作家,Joshua Klein对乌鸦们的智慧感到神奇(你可曾注意过它们那小小的黑眼睛中蕴藏的智慧光芒?)。他在很长一段的业余时间里对乌鸦群的行为进行观察后,想出了一个堪称优雅的机器,这或许将在人类与动物间构建一种新的关系。

 

How many of you have seen the Alfred Hitchcock film "The Birds"? Any of you get really freaked out by that? You might want to leave now.So this is a vending machine for crows.Over the past few days, many of you have been asking, "How did you come tothis? How did you get started doing this?" It started, as with many great ideas, or many ideas you can't get rid of, anyway, at a cocktail party. 

这里有多少人看过希区柯克的电影《鸟》?是不是认为那片子太过离奇了?要是那样的话,你现在可以走了。(笑声)大家看到的是一台专门为乌鸦设计的自动售货机。过去几天,人们都在问我同样的问题:“你怎么开始搞这玩意的?有什么吸引你的地方吗?” 说实话,这玩意就像很多伟大的想法, 或者一些你无法在脑中驱散的想法一样, 是从一次鸡尾酒派对产生的。 

 

About 10 years ago, I was at a cocktail party with a friend of mine. We were sitting there, and he was complaining about the crows that were all over his yard and making a big mess. And he was telling me we ought to eradicate these things,kill them, because they're making a mess. I said that was stupid, maybe we should just train them to do something useful. And he said that was impossible.

大概十年前,我与一个朋友在一个鸡尾酒派对上,我们坐在那,他一直在抱怨乌鸦乌鸦们把他的院子搞得一团糟。他那时很认真的跟我说,我们得想办法消灭这些鬼东西,否则我们就不会有好日子过。我跟他说,那才是坏主意呢,咱们为何不训练它们,让乌鸦帮我们人类做一点有意义的事情?他丢给我一句“那不可能”。

 

And I'm sure I'm in good company in finding that tremendously annoying, when someone tells you it's impossible. So I spent the next 10 years reading about crows in my spare time.

我相信绝对不只我一人觉得这极度恼人——当有人告诉你“那不可能”时。于是决定用10年的时间在我的业余时间专门研究乌鸦。

 

And after 10 years of this, my wife said,"You've got to do this thing you've been talking about, and build the vending machine." So I did. But part of the reason I found this interesting is, I started noticing that we're very aware of all the species that are going extinct on the planet as a result of human habitation expansion,and no one seems to be paying attention to all the species that are actually living;they're surviving. And I'm talking specifically about synanthropic species,which have adapted specifically for human ecologies, species like rats and cockroaches and crows.

现在10年过去了,我妻子说, “好吧,你也该把它做出来了, 你不是一直说要给乌鸦们做一个自动售货机么?” 于是我就把它做出来了。 但我对这个项目感兴趣还有部分原因是因为 我开始注意到我们人类已经意识到 有很多物种因为人类无止尽的扩张 将会在地球上灭绝。 但貌似没人对那些 还生存在世上的物种有所关心——它们都还真正地活着。 这里我指的是那些长期与人共处, 并适应了人类生态系统的动物。 这样的动物包括老鼠、蟑螂、乌鸦。

 

And as I started looking at them, I was finding that they had hyper-adapted. They'd become extremely adept at living with us. And in return, we just tried to kill them all the time.And in doing so, we were breeding them for parasitism. We were giving them all sorts of reasons to adapt new ways. So, for example, rats are incredibly responsive breeders. And cockroaches, as anyone who's tried to get rid of them knows, have become really immune to the poisons that we're using. 

而假如你仔细观察的话,你会发现所有的这类动物都已经对人类社会产生了高度的适应性,并且随着继续与人生活在一起,它们的适应性还加变得更强。但反观人类呢,我们只是一直在不断屠杀它们而已。为了做到这点,人类用喂养的方式来让它们寄生于我们我们给了动物们适应新环境的各种理由。比如:老鼠的生育能力变得超强。而蟑螂,逮过蟑螂的人都知道,它们已经不在乎我们的“诱饵”了。

 

So I thought, let's build something that's mutually beneficial; something that we can both benefit from, and find some way to make a new relationship with these species. So I built the vending machine.

于是我想,为何不制造出一些能让我们人类和这些“寄生虫”共同受益的东西呢?以此和这些动物建立一种新型的关系,一种互利的关系。从而让人类找到一条与其共处的新路子。这就是我制作动物专用自动售货机的理由。

 

But the story of the vending machine is a little more interesting if you know more about crows. It turns out, crows aren't just surviving with human beings; they're actually thriving. They're found everywhere on the planet except for the Arctic and the southern tip of South America. And in all that area, they're only rarely found breeding more than five kilometers away from human beings. So we may not think about them,but they're always around. 

不过如果你多了解一下乌鸦,这个自动售货机的故事会更有趣。乌鸦们不仅仅是在人类环境中‘生存’得不错——事实上,他们活得还很精彩。你在地球上任何一处角落——除了两极和南美至南端——都可以见得到乌鸦。通常它们的栖息地离人类居所不出5公里。虽然你也许不会想到这一点,可是它们确确实实一直都这么活在我们身边。

 

And not surprisingly, given the human population growth, more than half of the human population is living in cities now. And out of those, nine-tenths of the human growth population is occurring in cities.We're seeing a population boom with crows. So bird counts are indicating thatwe might be seeing up to exponential growth in their numbers. So that's no great surprise.

这也不奇怪,我们的地球上人口暴涨,其中有半数以上居住在城市。除此之外,90%的人口增长就都发生在城市里——乌鸦这个种群也在经历同样的发展。所以鸟类的数量在我们看来将会有一个爆炸型的增长,这并没有什么奇怪的。

 

 

 

But what was really interesting to me was to find out that the birds were adapting in a pretty unusual way. And I'll give you an example of that. This is Betty. She's a New Caledonian crow. And these crows use sticks in the wild to get insects and what not out of pieces of wood.Here, she's trying to get a piece of meat out of a tube. But the researchers had a problem. They messed up and left just a stick of wire in there. And she hadn't had the opportunity to do this before. You see, it wasn't working verywell. So she adapted.

但令我感到吃惊的是这些鸟儿竟然学会了通过一些奇特的方式在我们的社会里求得生存。大家看看下面的例子:它的名字是Betty,它是一只New Caledonia(北美地名)的乌鸦。在森林里,它们会用树枝从林木里挑出虫子和其他食物。此时它正尝试用铁线取出瓶子里的那块肉。但是研究者们遇到了一个问题。他们把试验搞砸了,因为只留下了一根线在那里。而Betty以前可没尝试过这样的挑战。你可以看到,它进行得并不顺利。于是它想出了一个新法子。

 

Now, this is completely unprompted; she had never seen this done before. No one taught her to bend this into a hook or had shown her how it could happen. But she did it all on her own. So keep in mind-- she's never seen this done.

要知道,它没有看到过别的乌鸦这么做。之前也没有任何人或者别的乌鸦教它如何把线弯成钩子;或者告诉过它可以通过这种方式捞肉。这完全是它自己想出来的办法。请一定记得它以前从没有学过的哦。就这样。

 

Right. Yeah. All right.So that's the part where the researchers freak out.

对,就这样。这才是研究人员觉得不可思议的地方。 

 

It turns out, we've been finding more andmore that crows are really intelligent. Their brains are in the same proportionas chimpanzee brains are. There's all kinds of anecdotes for the different kinds of intelligence they have. For example, in Sweden, crows will wait for fishermen to drop lines through holes in the ice. And when the fishermen move off, the crows fly down, reel up the lines, and eat the fish or the bait. It's pretty annoying for the fishermen.

我们发现越来越多的证据表明乌鸦的确是聪明的,它们的大脑占躯体的比例和大猩猩相当。大家也可能听过各种各样的关于乌鸦的趣闻吧。比如,在瑞典,那里的乌鸦会趁渔人往冰隙里放钓钩的时候守在一边,当渔人走了,它们就飞过去拉起钓钩,吃掉钩上的鱼或钓饵。这可是搞得那里的渔人很烦恼。

 

On an entirely different tack, at University of Washington a few years ago, they were doing an experiment where they captured some crows on campus. Some students went out, netted some crows,brought them in, weighed and measured them, and let them back out again. And they were entertained to discover that for the rest of the week, whenever these particular students walked around campus, these crows would caw at them and runaround, and make their life kind of miserable.

而在华盛顿大学,那里的研究员几年前做了一个截然不同的实验。他们在校园里捉来一些乌鸦,在实验室里加以标记、称量,然后把它们放走。而随后的那个星期,他们惊喜地发现,那些被放走的乌鸦在校园里一见到那些捉过它们的学生,就会冲着他们鸣叫,并在他们周围飞来飞去,给他们的生活增添一些小烦恼。

 

They were significantly less entertained when this went on for the next week. And the next month. And after summer break. Until they finally graduated and left campus, and -- glad to get away,I'm sure -- came back sometime later, and found the crows still remembered them.

但之后几个星期还是如此,他们就不再那么惊喜了。甚至到了下个月,到了夏季学期结束,到了他们毕业离校了——我相信他们是很高兴地离去的——可当他们偶尔回校来看看时,那些乌鸦还是记得他们。

 

So, the moral being: don't piss off crows.So now, students at the University of Washington that are studying these crows,do so with a giant wig and a big mask.

所以——大家看到了吧,千万别惹乌鸦。正是这样的缘故,现在华盛顿大学做乌鸦研究的学生都带上巨大的假发,还套上面具。

 

It's fairly interesting.

这真是令人哑然的一件事。

 

So we know these crows are really smart,but the more I dug into this, the more I found that they actually have an even more significant adaptation.

以上说的无非是要证明乌鸦是非常聪明的,但我研究得越是深入,越是觉得它们的智慧要比我们想象的高出一个层次。

 

Video: Crows have become highly skilled atmaking a living in these new urban environments. In this Japanese city, they have devised a way of eating a food that normally they can't manage: drop it among the traffic. The problem now is collecting the bits, without getting runover. Wait for the light to stop the traffic. Then, collect your cracked nut insafety.

视频:在新的城市环境中,乌鸦们的谋生技能正在变得越来越娴熟。这是一座日本城市,这里的乌鸦发明了一种吃果仁的办法——把坚果丢到车道上。然后飞走, 等待汽车开过。 之后它们在马路边等待绿灯, 然后飞到马路中央安全地衔走那颗果仁

 

Joshua Klein: Yeah, pretty interesting.What's significant about this isn't that crows are using cars to crack nuts. Infact, that's old hat for crows. This happened about 10 years ago in a placecalled Sendai City, at a driving school in the suburbs of Tokyo. And since that time, all the crows in the neighborhood are picking up this behavior. Now everycrow within five kilometers is standing by a sidewalk, waiting to collect its lunch.

JoshuaKlein: 看看,这是不是挺有趣的?不过,有趣的倒不是借助过往车辆压开果核的做法,事实上,乌鸦老早就学会了这门手艺了。刚才大家看到的景象发生在10年前东京市郊的一家驾驶学校附近。从那时开始, 附近的乌鸦也学会了这样的吃坚果的方式。 如今,方圆五公里内的乌鸦都在人行道旁守候着, 等待过往车辆为他们带来午餐。

 

So they're learning from each other. And research bears this out. Parents seem to be teaching their young. They learn from their peers, they learn from their enemies. If I have a little extra time,I'll tell you about a case of crow infidelity that illustrates that nicely. The point being, they've developed cultural adaptation. And as we heard yesterday,that's the Pandora's box that's getting human beings in trouble, and we're starting to see it with them. They're able to very quickly and very flexibly adapt to new challenges and new resources in their environment, which is really useful if you live in a city.

乌鸦通过互相学习,都掌握了这种技巧。乌鸦父母还教会自己的孩子这样的技巧呢。它们向同伴学习,也向它们的敌人学习。如果我还有更多演讲时间,我会告诉你们一个有关乌鸦背信的案例来更好地证明我的观点。最关键的是它们学会了适应不同的生态文化。就如昨天我们听到的那样,是潘多拉之盒将人类引入混乱,现在是开始着手解决它的时候了。他们能快速且融洽地适应新的挑战及环境中的新资源,对于城市生活来说,这可真有用。

 

So we know that there's lots of crows. We found out they're really smart and they can teach each other. When all this became clear, I realized the only obvious thing to do is build a vending machine. So that's what we did. This is a vending machine for crows. And it uses Skinnerian training to shape their behavior over four stages. It's pretty simple. 

好了,现在我们都知道城市里有大量的乌鸦,它们很聪明,还懂得相互间分享生存的秘诀。当我知道这一切以后,我决定要专门为它们做一台自动售货机。并且还做成功了。这就是乌鸦专用自动售货机:我们用斯金纳(操作性条件反射)理论,分四阶段训练法来训练乌鸦。其实也很简单。

 

Basically, what happens is that we put this out in a field or someplace where there's lots of crows. We put coins and peanuts all around the base ofthe machine. Crows eventually come by, eat the peanuts, and get used to the machine being there. Eventually, they eat all the peanuts. Then they see peanuts here on the feeder tray, and hop up and help themselves. Then they leave, the machine spits up more coins and peanuts, and life is dandy if you're a crow -- you can come back anytime and get yourself a peanut.

首先,我们把这样的机器放到田野或者乌鸦经常出没的地方。在机器的底部放上一大堆的硬币和花生。乌鸦来了,吃掉机器上的花生,并且也习惯了机器的存在。吃光了地面的花生以后,它们发现在售货机的出货口那里也有很多花生,于是就跳到上面,也同样尽享美味。每一天,那机器上都会放满了硬币和花生。 

 

So when they get really used to that, we move on to the crows coming back. Now they're used to the sound of the machine;they keep coming back and digging out peanuts from the pile of coins that'sthere. When they get really happy about this, we stymie them.

嘿,要是当那样的一只乌鸦也不错哟,每天都不愁吃的。当它们都习惯这样的生活或,我们继续下一步我们等到乌鸦都习惯于机器的声音,就把花生盖在硬币底下,它们飞过来,掀开硬币,就能吃得到花生,它们也挺开心的。这时,我们决定给它们制造一些困难。

 

We move to the third stage, where we only give them a coin. Now, like most of us who have gotten used to a good thing,this really pisses them off. So they do what they do in nature when they're looking for something: sweep things out of the way with their beak. They do that here, and that knocks the coins down the slot. When that happens, they get a peanut. This goes on for some time. The crows learn that all they have to do is show up, wait for the coin to come out, put it in the slot, then get their peanut.

我们开始了第三阶段的训练。只把一枚硬币留在机器上,此时乌鸦飞过来,看到没有食物,自然觉得很泄气——我们人也一样嘛。所以它们出于寻找食物的本能——用它的喙在机器上扫来扫去,不经意的把硬币碰到硬币口里去了,于是它获得了一颗花生。于是它们也学会了,每次都来这里, 只要把机器上的硬币丢到硬币口,就能吃得到花生。

 

When they're good and comfortable with that, we move to the final stage, where they show up and nothing happens. Thisis where we see the difference between crows and other animals. Squirrels, for example, would show up, look for the peanut, go away. Come back, look for the peanut, go away. They do this maybe half a dozen times before they get bored,and then they go off and play in traffic.

当他们对此过程非常熟练及满足以后,我们进入训练的最后一个阶段,它们来到机器旁边,却发现什么也没有。注意,就是这个关键的地方可以看出乌鸦是多么聪明。要是一只松鼠,它来到机器旁,寻找花生,找不到,就走了隔天再来,又是没有,又跑回去。如此反复五六次,它们也就觉得没意思了。

 

Crows, on the other hand, show up and they try and figure it out. They know this machine has been messing with them through three different stages of behavior.

而乌鸦则不一样,它们要寻找出一个究竟。通过前面三个阶段,并且这样的玩笑越开越大。 

 

They figure there must be more to it. So they poke at it and peck at it. And eventually some crow gets a bright idea:"Hey, there's lots of coins lying around from the first stage, hops down,picks it up, drops it in the slot, and we're off to the races. That crow enjoys a temporary monopoly on peanuts, until his friends figure out how to do it, and then there we go.

它们觉得肯定还有更多方式获得花生。它们又是用头撞,又是用嘴咬。偶尔间有一些乌鸦想到了一个绝妙的主意:“嘿,大家还记得地面上放的那一大堆硬币么。或许有用呢?”——于是它们飞过来,衔起硬币,扔进投币孔。它们发现了怎么吃得上花生了!这样的技巧先是为第一批到来的乌鸦所垄断,可慢慢的别的乌鸦也学会了……故事到此为止。

 

So, what's significant about this to me isn't that we can train crows to pick up peanuts. Mind you, there's 216 milliondollars' worth of change lost every year, but I'm not sure I can depend on that ROI from crows.

从这个故事我们得出结论:我们可以训练乌鸦,让它们通过售货机吃上花生。你知不知道,每一年都有价值2.16亿的硬币丢在大街上。

 

Instead, I think we should look a little bit larger. I think crows can be trained to do other things. For example, why not train them to pick up garbage after stadium events? Or find expensive components from discarded electronics? Or maybe do search and rescue? The main point of all this for me is, we can find mutually beneficial systems for these species. We can find ways to interact with these other species that doesn't involve exterminating them, but involves finding an equilibrium with them that's a useful balance.

嘿,当然,我不是想靠乌鸦来赚钱。我们的眼光可以放远一点:我觉得我们可以训练乌鸦来做其他事。比如,为何不可以通过训练,让乌鸦给体育馆捡垃圾?或者让它们帮助我们从大堆的废弃电子元件里头挑出有用的部件?又或者让它们参与搜救工作?我这个演讲的主要的一个观点是我们可以寻找到一种与此类动物共存的途径,我们能找到与其他族群共处的方式而不仅仅是灭绝它们,我们可以和它们实现共赢。

 

Thanks very much.(Applause)

非常感谢大家。(掌声)

 


用户评论(6)
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范儿fyf

范儿fyf

语速太快了 根本跟不上

英语口语talks

英语口语talks:回复@范儿fyf

错了,是播放页面,右下角有“三”行,点一下可以调节语速

英语口语talks

英语口语talks:回复@范儿fyf

可以调节语速,好像播放页面向左滑动,就有调节的

猜锅

猜锅:回复@范儿fyf

我感觉六级水平怕是也难听懂。

甯_ww

甯_ww

听说过三眼乌鸦吗?哈哈哈哈

青鹿来

青鹿来

听得莫名想养乌鸦

杨苑萍遇见更好的自己

杨苑萍遇见更好的自己

我们的孩子越来越喜欢😘!在线的可以吗、这么多年都会有 你们的人生态度是那么多人来了!你说什么事都是那么简单、不能够接受

亡命之徒执迷不悟

亡命之徒执迷不悟

厉害了 好聪明

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